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The Os are on the up

There's something in the water at Leyton Orient. Results and off-the-field fortunes have taken a turn for the better. We sent Steve Moorhouse down to Brisbane Road on Saturday to canvas opinion from the Os fans and try to find out just what has been going on in east London...

Leyton Orient fans have had reason to cheer over the last few weeks, as the club have celebrated success both on and off the pitch.

The club started the season in poor form, notching only three points before the beginning of October. Since then however, three games have produced three wins, most recently in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Bury.

“Even before the win against Preston, the signs were clear that we were improving,” said loyal supporter Dick. “We just needed that bit of luck. I don’t think we’ll go as close as last year but a comfortable mid-table finish would be fine by me.”

The majority of fans outside Brisbane Road before the Bury game had similar views. The confidence was returning to the squad, but “mid-table mediocrity” - as Mark and his Orient fan son put it - were the best that Orient could hope for this year as far as their loyal supporters were concerned.

One fan who believed in better was season ticket holder Jimmy. Since the 2-2 draw at Huddersfield, where the Os fought back from 2-0 down to level in the final 10 minutes, Jimmy believes that the club have started to got their season back on track.

'Turned the corner'

“We’ve turned the corner without a doubt. The fighting spirit is back, and I don’t think we’ll be too far off the playoffs come the end of the season. I think we’ll win comfortably today, put me down for 4-0.”

But it’s not just results on the field that have given the club and their supporters a much needed lift. Earlier in the week it was announced that West Ham’s bid to move to the Olympic Stadium had fallen flat, something that Orient had always fought for.

Barry Hearn, chairman of the club said in his notes for the match day magazine: “Tuesday’s news entirely vindicates the legal action taken by us to protect the future of the club in Leyton.”

And it would seem that the majority of the fans agree with Hearn. Roger Bonnick who has supported Orient his whole life, described the news as “excellent”, whilst others suggested that moving any football team into a stadium with a running track would be a bad idea.

As for the game itself, Russell Slade’s side were unchanged from the team that beat Scunthorpe 3-2. The first half lacked ambition from either side; a Bury corner that Tom Clarke headed off the line produced the best chance.

Cox - like a fox in the box

However, just as he had done against Preston in the last home game, the excellent Dean Cox (pictured) showed up just before the break to slot home a well taken goal and give the O’s a 1-0 lead at half time.

The second half was much better, and really Orient should have won this by more than the one goal. Kevin Lisbie, who had been in good goal scoring form, was guilty of missing a number of good chances, including one where squaring wide to David Mooney instead of shooting would have certainly produced a goal.

Despite this, Orient held on. In truth, apart from a header in the 66th minute that hit the bar, Bury rarely threatened with any real purpose, but this was still a good win for Orient.

The vast majority of fans believed that Orient would continue to find form and would finish in a respectable mid-table finish.

If results continue the way they have in recent weeks however, Jimmy’s belief that the team is capable of more may just come true.


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